Thursday, April 26, 2012

Psychos Are People Too

"[...] it doesn't surprise me that many contemporary mysteries and thrillers feature ever-more-violent criminals, ever-more-psychotic murderers, ever-more-deranged serial killers. As our world threatens to tilt into chaos — social, economic, and political — our crime fiction seems to traffic more and more in the realm of the psychologically-disturbed culprit, the villain whose heinous crimes appear totally random, totally senseless.
     Which means, for today's mystery writer, I believe it's also a time to step back and reflect on how truthfully — both in terms of believable narrative and real life itself — a crime story villain is portrayed. [...]
     I can't tell you how often I've read thrillers in which the author's depiction of a 'psycho' killer is pure boiler-plate: unconvincing, unmotivated, without psychological depth or realism. Why is this? Especially when the writer's other characters seem more rounded, realistic, subject to the usual panoply of feelings and motives?"
— Dennis Palumbo, Huffington Post
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